To the Editor:
I would like to thank Dr. Lichtblau for his letter that supports Educate UA's position.
While a UA school board member, Dr. Lichtblau writes that he "found it difficult to stem the growth of salaries and benefits."
Educate UA agrees; salaries and benefits in the UA schools are on a runaway course.
Even the Ohio Education Association supports our findings. Its September magazine lists UA as the second-highest-paying school district in Ohio.
Instead of threatening cuts to teachers, though, Educate UA has identified solutions. We advocate making adjustments to the district's health care package to bring it in line with the private sector. We also propose freezing the wage scale until the economy has rebounded.
Doing so helps curb salary growth and slows benefit increases, since taxpayer-funded contributions to the State Teachers Retirement Fund are based on teacher salaries.
Even with these changes, UA schools will have some of the highest compensation packages around.
When the district talks about balancing its budget, it's balancing a projected budget that includes generous compensation increases. In the private sector, when times get tough, increases need to be curbed so businesses can stay afloat. This hasn't happened with the UA schools.
We can continue to say it is too "difficult to stem the growth of salaries and benefits" or we can look at solutions. Let's come together and look at the avenues available to us and not close the door on our children's future by threatening their teachers. It's time for solutions.